“Creative” Is Such an… Interesting… Word

July 13, 2018



I’m a creative person, who’s been working with other creatives, creating creative for over three decades. Sounds a tad crazy, but it’s a good example of how many ways the word “creative” is used. Take a look at these examples:

“Have you met with the creatives yet to see how the work is going?”

“That’s not your best creative is it really?”

“How’s the creative coming?”

“The team’s not finished with the creative.”

“Who’s going to present the creative today at the meeting?”

“She’s the Creative Director.”

“Pull all the creatives together in an hour to review their creative.”

“He’s a creative genius.”

“We have no creative yet!!”

That last one is so scary. Do you know how hard it is to face the empty page? The one that’s waiting for those brilliant words. Or the unexpected image? Let alone the concept…the IDEA. Where is it? When will it emerge?

What I can tell you from personal experience is that sitting in front of that blank page (ok screen maybe), staring at it, is one of the best ways for it NOT to happen. In fact the best way to freeze your mind.

Although I do know some really talented writers who just say “start putting thoughts and words down. Don’t try to write.” But you know what, those writers did a lot of research and reading and thinking before they sat down to just “put a few thoughts and words down.”

That’s pretty hard to do with images though—you can’t just “put a few images on paper”. You have to look around, walk around, listen, absorb, notice, observe everything around you…all the time. TV, movies, theatre, dance, art, music, sports, nature, animals, people, magazines, books, machines…the places from which inspiration arise are endless.

That’s why you hear about those companies with crazy fun areas for creatives to “play”. Because sometimes the best way to unlock is by exposing it to something completely different. Literally distract it! Get those other brain waves going. It’s why lots of ideas happen when you’re driving or cycling or running or whatever: the left brain is involved, which leaves the right brain (the free-thinking “creative” side) free to produce, to create connections and release what’s in there. Magic!

Hence, the creative’s mind is pretty much never at rest. Always trying to come up with the idea, the nugget that will prompt a few words or some graphics, or some graphic way of presenting words. Some wonderful marriage of words and graphics.

You never know when it will come. Or even if.

Take this article. I fussed and fumed about what to write in my next blog. I mean, what’s with that?! After nearly 40 years of being a “creative”, I couldn’t think of a topic?? Good grief that’s pitiful. But actually such a perfect example of what it’s like.